Sunday, October 31, 2021

Sunday Worship podcast link and other news: Oct 31 - All Saints and All Souls


Join us for worship online, on the phone or in the building today. 

with best wishes
Anne Le Bas

Worship podcast        Order of service
You can also access this podcast by phoning 01732 928061

In the church building today
10 am   Holy Communion
6.30pm  All Souls' service (Church open from 5.45pm for candle lighting)

During the week
Wednesday@10 am Good Book Club in the church hall
                                 5pm Children's Choir
                                 7.15 pm Adult Choir
Friday              9.30 am Morning Prayer in Church 

                           10.00-12 noon   Friday Group in the church hall

In the church building next Sunday - Nov 7
10 am   Holy Communion
6.30pm  Evensong

All Saints & All Souls
Rev 21.1-6a John 11.32-44

This morning we celebrate All Saints Day (the actual Feast Day is Nov 1) and this evening we mark All Souls, with our annual service at which we commemorate those who have died. The Feast of All Saints has a long history. Dating back to the 4th century, it was originally held in mid-May, but  by the 9th century (in the western church at least) it found its current place at the beginning of November, falling roughly on what was one of the "cross-quarter days" of the calendar - the others are Candlemas Feb 2,  May Day and Lammas Day, Aug 1. Half-way between the Solstices and Equinoxes, these days mark the subtle shift in the seasons when we really start to notice that the year is turning. All Saints falls at the moment when autumn starts to turn to winter, when darkness really starts to take hold (N.B. The clocks went back last night!). It is often said that the Christian feast was simply superimposed on the pre-Christian celebration of Samhain, when it was thought that the barrier between the worlds of the living and the dead was especially thin but as Samhain wasn't celebrated in Southern Europe, where the pope who settled the date lived, this seems unlikely. It's more likely to be simply that at this time of year the sense of growing darkness was a natural time to remember those who had died, and celebrate those who had brought the light of God into that darkness. The popular narrative of Christians "stealing" pagan feasts is often far more complicated than it seems!
Today, the eve of the feasts of All Saints (or All Hallows, as it was once known) has become the big focus for many people. Hallowe'en - the eve of All Hallows, is now, apparently, second only to Christmas as a money spinner! Some Christians are wary of its association with ghosts and ghoulies, but there is an argument, which I think has some merit, that acknowledging the darkness around us is important. We shouldn't pretend that life is all sweetness and light, but should name and face our fears.  Hallowe'en, handled properly, can help us to do that, and help us to remember that Christ went into the darkness of death for us and is with us when we go into the dark too. 

  • What do you think about Hallowe'en?
  • How do you deal with your fears?
  • How do you cope with the growing darkness at this time of year - do you enjoy it or hate it?

Go outside after dark (if you can get away from artificial light that is even better). Spend some time quietly listening and looking. What can you hear and see that you might not see in the daytime? Do you know any creatures who come out only at night? Thank God for the darkness, as well as for the light.

Here is a sheet of activities that you might like to try, focussing both on Hallowe'en and All Saints.


This week's Gospel story.
This season in the Church's year has become known as the Kingdom Season, uniting the feasts of All Saints and Souls, Remembrance and Christ the King as the liturgical cycle of readings comes to an end - the new Church year starts on Advent Sunday (Nov 28 this year). Our readings through November, therefore, will focus on the idea of the Kingdom of God.

We begin with a story from Samuel 1. Israel, unlike the nations around it, has never been ruled by kings, but has instead been led by judges. God should be the only king they need. But eventually they felt that they needed to have a king - it was a matter of pride. This was how they thought "proper" nations were ruled. Samuel tries to convince them that this isn't a good idea, but they are determined. The king God chooses for them is Saul, however, who we first meet when he is out looking for his father's donkey. If he can't keep track of donkeys, we are meant to realise, then how will he lead a nation?
  • What do you think are the pros and cons of monarchy? Do you think Samuel (and God!)  have a point in trying to discourage it?
ALL SOULS SERVICE There will be a quiet service of hymns, readings and reflection tonight at 6.30pm to remember those we love who have died. If you would like us to name someone in the prayers please add them in CAPITAL LETTERS to the list on the clipboard at the back of church. The church will be open from 5.45 pm if anyone would like to light a candle and spend time in quiet reflection before the service, or prefers not to stay for it.
RECRUITING We shall need a new honorary Treasurer in a couple of months’ time, and new churchwarden’s next year. We also need a new PCC secretary (mainly to take minutes at PCC meetings) right now. Can you help. Role descriptions for these voluntary roles are on the board at the back of church, or you can download them here (ChurchwardenTreasurerPCC Secretary) and I will be happy to chat with you if you think these roles might be for you. 
CHURCH HEATING Apologies that the church is chilly because of delays to the fitting of the new boiler and on fuel deliveries. We hope the heating will be able to be switched on in a few weeks’ time.
Seal Village Hall. Sat Nov 6th, 10.45-12 noon
Please join us for a cuppa, to chat about what goes on now in our village, and what you’d like to see in the future, along with how we might achieve this.
There will be a CHRISTMAS BAZAAR in Seal Village Hall on Sunday November 21st from 10.30am-3pm.
We need your help…
  • If you are a regular at a local business in Seal or Sevenoaks, could you ask them if they might donate a tombola prize? Please tell Marion Gilchrist who you will be asking, so the local shops aren’t inundated with requests!
  • Could you commit yourself to making some cakes for the refreshments or to help on the day? There is a list at the back of church to sign up for this or you can email
Could you help with putting up some of the Christmas lights in the village on Nov 27? If so, please contact Marion Gilchrist. 

Thursday December 2nd - 2 sessions - 2-3.30pm and 7.30-9pm.
More information to follow. Call Maggie for further information on 01732 762840 or 07517 234557.

For more community news from Marion Gilchrist, check out the Know Your Neighbours blog.

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